Manchester City manager Guardiola responds to talk of Messi reunion at Barcelona

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Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20
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A presidential candidate at the Liga club wants the former Blaugrana coach back at Camp Nou with his current contract ending at the end of the season

Pep Guardiola says he is happy in Manchester after Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font said he wanted to bring him back to Camp Nou.

The Manchester City manager is in his final year of his contract at Etihad Stadium and has not yet confirmed a decision on his long-term future.

After Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned and the entire board stepped down from their posts, Font has become the favourite to take over the role and said he wants to reunite Guardiola and Lionel Messi at the club.

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Guardiola is in his fifth season at City, more than his previous periods in charge at Barca and Bayern Munich, but insists he is happy at the club.

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"I'm incredibly happy here, delighted to be in Manchester and hopefully I can do a good job this season to stay longer,” he said when asked about the link with his former club.

Guardiola has said he will sign an extension if his players continue to respond his coaching techniques, but he has made his worst ever start to a season as a coach after injuries and illness disrupted his squad.

Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy are definitely out of Saturday’s trip to Sheffield United, but the City boss hopes to have some players back soon with Gabriel Jesus and Nathan Ake returning to training.

“Gabriel and Ake are getting better, Mendy is not,” the City boss confirmed. “We’ll see how they feel at training. They need to be with the team and it’s coming so it’s good to have as many as possible. This season everyone will be important.”

With at least two games a week until the New Year, Guardiola is having to carefully monitor the fitness of his players, and he said the Premier League made a mistake when they didn't continue to allow five substitutes as they did during Project Restart and is being used across Europe and the Champions League.

"Definitely they should [have], they should 100%," he added. "It’s not about one club.

"There are statistics that they don’t deny - that in the Premier League players have 47 per cent more muscular injuries than the previous season. Due to no preparation for most of the teams and the amount of games.

"All the leagues - Germany, Spain, everywhere - is five substitutions to protect the players, not to protect one team.

"They should [reconsider], hopefully they can reconsider and do what the rest of the world does because we have to adjust to the pandemic situation and other things. The reality is completely different now to before. Intelligent people adjust to the situation in the world – football is about the players."

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